About Nicole Cohen

Nicole Cohen's work is positioned at the crossroads of contemporary reality, personal fantasy, and culturally constructed space. Although trained in painting and drawing, Cohen most frequently uses video as her medium, playing upon its intrinsic capacities to manipulate time, distort scale and environment, and overlay imagery. Consistently interested in engaging her audience and challenging notions of lifestyle, domesticity, celebrity, and social behavior, Cohen also uses the surveillance camera to involve her viewers in their own voyeurism. Surveillance cameras first appeared in video art installations in the late 1960s. At a time when television dominated American culture, artists sought to change audiences from passive to active participants. In the last four decades, video art has evolved to encompass new technologies that allow for a more seamless inclusion of and reliance on the viewer for the outcome of the work, and Cohens projects serve as some of the most paradigmatic and successful examples.

For instance, in How To Make Your Windows Beautiful, a 2005 show at the Luxe Gallery in New York, Cohen projected actors onto pages from a 1950s interior design magazine, enabling them to virtually inhabit the ideal domestic spaces of that iconic era. In a 2003 project for the Williams College Museum of Art, Cohen co-opted the colorful, easy elegance and gaiety of Raoul Dufy's 1931 painting La Vie en Rose to draw parallels through video projection with the stereotypically lighthearted, rose-colored lifestyles of Southern Californians.

Born in Falmouth, Massachusetts, in 1970, Nicole Cohen received her bachelor of arts degree from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and her master of fine arts degree from the University of Southern California. Her work has been exhibited at the Williams College Museum of Art (Williamstown, Massachusetts), the Fabric Workshop and Museum (Philadelphia), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the New York Public Library. It has also been shown internationally in Berlin; Bergen, Norway; Paris; Harajaku, Osaka, Kobe, and Tokyo; and Shanghai.

Nicole Cohen